<
>

Man gets fine, probation for threatening Willingham

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A Florida man who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of leaving a threatening telephone message for then-Notre Dame football coach Tyrone Willingham has been fined $2,000 and placed on probation for another year.

Andrew Kim French, 26, of Fort Myers, Fla., expressed remorse
Tuesday to U.S. Magistrate Judge Christopher A. Nuechterlein for
his actions, saying he was drunk at a party in November 2003 when
he made the call.

French, a former basketball player for Florida Gulf Coast
University, has completed an alcohol program, written an apology
and performed 100 hours of community service. He was allowed to
plead guilty in July to a misdemeanor rather than the felony for
which he was indicted on in April 2004.

French has said he was drunk, under peer pressure and not using
good judgment when he made the 3 a.m. call and left a message for
Willingham.

He said that he said "terrible things" during that call,
including using racially charged terms about Willingham and
threatening to burn a cross in the coach's yard.

Willingham, who coached the Irish for three seasons until he was
fired in December 2004, is now the coach at Washington.

Since the indictment, French has been free on bond, living and
working in Florida.